Singapore man files appeal for properties lost to Vietnamese ex-wife

By Hai Duyen   April 11, 2019 | 08:48 pm PT
Singapore man files appeal for properties lost to Vietnamese ex-wife
Singaporean man Chang Koon Yuen was not able to prove that he bought eight properties in Vietnam with his own money. Photo by Shutterstock/Elnur
A HCMC court is considering an appeal by a Singaporean man who lost properties to his Vietnamese ex.

The Ho Chi Minh City District 2 Court last year ruled that Singaporean man Chang Koon Yuen, 65, did not have any legal documents to prove that he was the owner of the eight properties he had with Chau Hong Loan, 58, his wife.

Yuen and Loan, lived together for seven years before they got married in 2003. They have three daughters. After 20 years of being together, in April 2016, they got divorced.

As they could not settle on dividing their assets, Yuen last year asked the court to divide the eight properties they have, worth VND400 billion ($17.2 million). Yuen wanted the asset to be divided 80:20 in his favor, saying that he had contributed the most to acquiring them.

As Vietnam’s laws before 2015 did not allow foreigners to own property, all asset documents were signed and managed by Loan. Yuen told the court that he had bought the properties with his own money.

However, the court said that notarized documents that Loan provided showed that Yuen confirmed that the properties belonged to Loan.

There was no proof that Yuen had given Loan the money for the properties, the court said.

It ruled that Loan was the legitimate owner of six properties in southern provinces.

The other two, in the north, were divided 50:50, as neither side was able to prove that they own these properties, the court said. Loan said that she had borrowed VND6.6 billion ($284,800) from a friend to buy these properties.

The court ruled then that Loan would still manage the two properties and pay Yuen in cash.

Yuen got VND6.35 billion ($274,000) from Loan. But as they have to pay the debt for the two properties plus interest over a few years, Yuen had to use all that money plus VND1 billion ($43,100) to repay Loan’s friend.

Yuen filed his appeal with the Ho Chi Minh City’s People’s Court on Wednesday, which will resume hearing the case next week.

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